Monthly Archives: December 2016

California’s Legislative OER History

The Community College League of California in its June 2016 e-newsletter provided a summary of major legislation adopted to support the use of open educational resources (OER) in higher education to address the high cost of textbooks. Below is an outline of the legislation. Continue reading


Short History of the Open Educational Resources Movement

In 2012, the World Open Educational Resources (OER) Congress facilitated by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), adopted the Paris OER Declaration which calls on governments to openly license for public use; publically funded educational materials. The support of OER by UNESCO is based on the statement by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that everyone has a right to education. Continue reading

Definition of Open Educational Resources (OER)

OER or “open educational resources” is a term created by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization), in 2002, at a forum on open courseware for higher education.

UNESCO defines open educational resources as materials used to support education that may be freely accessed, reused, modified and shared.

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Message of Caution from an OER Advocate

 In 2011, when MOOCs (Massively Open Online Courses) captured the collective consciousness of educators; the ever rising tuition fees, runaway textbooks costs, and out of control college debt were already topics of discussion in all facets of the American society, a society still in recovery from the financial devastation of the Great Recession.

The social conditions were therefore ripe for legislators to embrace open educational resources as a way to disrupt the tight hold of the traditional textbook publisher oligopoly. Slowly but consistently, the passage of seemingly inconsequential bills authored by different legislators set into motion a movement which is surely to conclude with a total transformation of the college textbook market in California.

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